Getting out

We made a cracking pace through Egypt, due in no small part to the excellent roads and favourable winds. Southern Egypt provided us some logistical challenges as we worked for permission to pass on roads without an escort, but persistence paid off and after signing our own indemnity we enjoyed some secluded riding through pretty unique and barren landscapes. We managed to improve our personal best by covering 270km within 24hours, to arrive exhausted into the warm welcome of Abu Simbel; a town on Lake Nasser that we will remember as much for its main Temple attraction, as the good folks of the town whom among other things, served up some fine fish dinners.

However, our lasting and quite fitting image of Egypt will be that of our two bicycles propped on their stands in front of the very final (unmanned) locked gate in the border crossing process. In what was never going to be a speedy affair, we had jumped through every hoop and collected every piece of seemingly superfluous paperwork, but still found ourselves agonisingly short of no-man’s land. As an ‘official’ (wearing a Barcelona football shirt – and who almost certainly didn’t play for them) resting in a broken plastic chair bellowed in vain for someone to open the padlock, we had almost lost the will to try anymore. After much gesticulation and waiting many ‘1-minutes’, a second official found the requisite key and shuffled over to release us from this farcical country. Phew.

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